Bog Water - Beau's All Natural Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bog WaterBog Water

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BA SCORE
83
good

77 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Beau's All Natural Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Malty, with a plum-like fruitiness that is offset by spicy, earthy bitterness.

(Beer added by: CanuckRover on 02-18-2008)
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trippinbillyrmc
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of Groulxsome
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle from a January 2012 batch that I've been saving in the back of the fridge since then. I've had this on tap before and it was really different so I wanted to try it again! They use bog myrtle in the brew with a Belgian double malt/yeast profile according to the little tag that came with the bottle.

A: It's almost the color of cola. Kinda brown-toffee coloured with a hint of dark ruby red. The head takes off to the sides of the glass pretty quickly.

S: It's very sweet smelling, but not in the normal malt way. It's more like a root beer kind of smell. It's got that spicy, herby smell that a really nice root beer would have. I guess that makes sense... it is bog beer.

T: I love the taste of this beer. It's refreshingly different. It opens with a little yeast sour, followed by that weird bog taste - a combination of dry tea, root/birch beer, and some spiciness - it then gets into a more standard double taste, nice round, warm malts. There is a distinct vanilla flavour somewhere in there too. The bitter is also different, maybe more like the bitterness of almonds than the bitterness of hops? It's great, though I'd love a little more in the body department.

M: For something as dark as this, it is surprisingly light. Very light carbonation, almost like the bottom of a cola bottle. It's not under-carbonated though. It'd be nice to have on cask for sure! It's warm from the alcohol at the end.

O: I'm going by style here, and in the spiced/herb beer category this is really a great beer. It's interesting, refreshing, and something I really enjoy drinking. That kind of cola, root/birch beer taste combined with the nice malts and the sour yeast is a great combination. I'd actually buy six packs of this if it was a year-round option.

Photo of BGDrock
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

Appearance: average head; incredibly clear as like all Beau's brews; stunningly deep, rich, brown amber - like the edges of a port wine

Aroma: sweet; sharp, slightly acidic fruit, like a barleywine; raisiny, dried fruit (prunes)

Taste & Mouthfeel: interesting mouthfeel stands out with the first sip - almost thick and fatty, coating and clinging to the tongue; just slightly sour; there's something herbal, like a rustic tea; hops are replaced by bog myrtle and the change is noticeable - lacking that dimension; sweetness is "natural" like flowers or honey (not sugary); short length

Overall: a very interesting and complex experiment, like a lighter Belgian Abbey, but the hops and length are missed

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Digimaika2
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful clear amber colour with a fingers worth of fizzy head that quickly recedes to a ring. Good spotty lacing down the glass.

S: Herbal qualities, brown sugar, belgian-like spices and yeast, a favourable sour element, and subtle bread-like aroma. An overall appealing grainy-herbal forward smell.

T: Herbal-grassy taste, brown sugar, a slight sourness, and a biscuity malt presence. If I had to pick a fruit I'd say crisp and sweet pears. There's a distinct and lingering herbal finish, but it's a nice natural taste.

M: Lighter body with a moderate carbonation, both about average for the style. Slightly oily with a generally crisp and clean texture.

D: Quite good with a strong herbal-grassy farmhouse-like element as advertised. Might not be something regularly stocked in my fridge but certainly would occasionally pick this up again.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma consists of light sugar and caramel notes with light herb undertones. Taste is a mix between a solid malt backbone with some herbs and some light candi sugar. Body is fuller then average with low carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting though some additional carbonation would have helped.

Photo of Rukasu
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful ruby amber color from the bottle with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

Very yeasty on the nose with wheat and tropical hints.

Taste is a pleasant, equally yeasty typical dubbel, brown sugar, banana. Caramel malt notes. One wouldn't be able to tell that this didn't have hops in it if they never read the backstory. There is a slight bitterness from the myrtle, which lingers after swallow, but has a milder sharpness to hops.

Bogwater is only lightly carbonated and little body, it comes and goes in the mouth and is very drinkable.

An interesting concept and an enjoyable beer, but little stands out to make this different from the dubbel pack.

Photo of peensteen
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy brown/ruby colour, collar of off white head, no lace at all, not as ugly as everyone said it was! Smell is yeasty with tons of banana, brown sugary notes, some earthy-herbal notes, very fain alcohol as well. Taste is full of banana followed directly by herbal notes, spicy with banana coming back as well, some sips give flavours of chocolate, mild bitterness with an earthy finish. Medium dry carbonation, medium body with a fairly nice feel. Not bad, unique with some good interesting flavours, would revisit gladly.

Photo of liamt07
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, 650ml bottle into a pint glass. Batch 1894, packaged November 30, 2011.

Poured a translucent maroon, with some big head as the glass filled but disappeared as soon as the pour finished. Nose head, no lace and some modest carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass. Nose has lots of sweet caramel, some interesting yeast/fruit qualities that almost resemble a weizen in some respects (lots of banana here). Some interesting herbal notes, with a hint of spice. Quite intriguing, maybe a hint of alcohol as well. Taste has some overripe bananas, a hint of spice, with a touch of cocoa and caramel. Sweet malts, somewhat of a banana bread character to this; a touch of spice as well. A bit of bitterness and some definite alcohol in the finish, although it isn't too prohibitive. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, and carbonation is low, but kinda helps this out. An interesting pint, I would revisit this.

Photo of korguy123
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

600ml into Tulip. Bottled Nov 30, 2011

A- Slightly hazed murky red/brown pour. Finger width off white head that quickly disappears leaving a thin cap. Lacing is spotty.

S- Bananas, rosemary, brown sugar with a touch of cloves. Very earthy and medicinal. Almost getting what resembles a cannabis note.

T- Sweet malts, banana, cloves and brown sugar. The cannabis smell translates to a subtle cannabis taste. Quite medicinal.

M- Medium bodied, light carbonation.

O- Very interesting style. Belgian dubbel in all aspects with a little ganja. Not bad, not great.

Photo of spinrsx
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

600ml Bottle

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is basically no lacing. The head was gone in a flash.

Smell - Malts, caramel, banana, raisins/dates

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with butterscotch/caramel and some clove. There is also a fair amount of banana flavour mixed with raisins/dates and an earthiness. It ends with a malty light fruit aftertaste.

Overall - This one actually reminded me a bit of their 'Dunkel Buck' but with a lot less sweetness and taste. It had a very poor appearance and there was really nothing exciting about the beer. It almost tasted like "gruit lite" if such a thing existed. It needs a bump up in the flavour department and some more sweetness in the aftertaste.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had a good chance to scratch my gruit itch recently (other than from the Historic Ales of Scotland pack), so it was very nice to see this offering from Beau's hit the shelves. I've been meaning to try this for quite some time, but their distribution has only really taken off this year. Still, quite glad to pick up a bottle.

Kudos to Beau's for their dating info - not many Ontario brewers do this consistently. Bottled on November 30th, served in a dimpled ale glass on a disgustingly wet, boggy December afternoon.

The name "bog water" conjures up images of stagnant Ontario lakes fillled with lilies, reeds and dank, brown water. And that's precisely the image that Bog Water seeks to replicate. Dank, chestnut brown, slightly hazy, light brown when given some sun. The head is negligible, quickly dissolving into a thin ring. Eh, the beer is called Bog Water - what do you expect?

Nose is slightly spicy, but the dominant smell I detect is that of a dunkelweizen - cocoa, dark malt and a bit of over-ripe banana. It's faint, but it's there.

This brew is extra malty, with a big caramel-chocolate sweetness rushing out of the gate. But that same over-ripe banana continues to nag at my tastebuds. It's not until the finish that the gruit begins to show, with a nice herbal bitterness. Slightly flat, oily, and with a tangy carbonation kick. Surprisingly dry on the tongue.

Not exactly what I was expecting, but an interesting brew nonetheless. And hell, it's almost 7% - always a plus in my book. But not really the gruit fix I was hoping for. Worth a try at any rate.

Photo of Foddz
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark, hazy, caramel brown. A finger and a half of medium bodied foam that subsides to a thin rim around the glass. No lacing to speak of.

S: Dark, earthy, and a herbal spiciness to it. Ripe banana and other dark fruits. An underlying sweetness to it all.

T: More fruit. Reminds me a little of banana bread. Ripe bananas, malty bread notes, and a nice bit of herbal zing from the bog myrtle that the hops have been replaced with. Nicely balanced between sweet and bitter. A little weak on flavour in the back end.

M: A little thin, but nice and smooth. Mediocre carbonation. Not much to it.

O/D: Quite a pleasant brew, but under-performs in a couple of areas. Would benefit from a more robust late-taste/aftertaste, more carbonation, and a little more substance. That said, one could enjoy a few of these in a sitting without too much difficulty at all.

Photo of ludachris
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taking the name into consideration, its hazy deep caramel body is quite fitting. About a finger's worth of tightly knit, creamy off white head forms after a sturdy pour, leaving no lace as it dies down.

Big, over-ripe banana streams from the glass with a musty, slightly sour backing I can't quite put my finger on. Cooked tomatoes and celery come through but moreso in a hardy, stew-like way. DMS in a less off putting form I suppose.

The taste is quite interesting. A smooth, mellowed out banana sweetness coats the palate. It reminds me of sugar coated bananas without being cloyingly sweet. A unique earthy, hardy, slightly peppery character follows close behind. There's a quick flash of spice midway through. A touch vegetal in the finish but much less pronounced than the nose. The last impression, extending beyond the finish, is both earthy and minerally laced with a soft sweetness. The pepper quality becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Carbonation is a tad below average, helping to accentuate the sweet banana character while still being able to impart a stern dryness that prevents the sweetness from getting carried away. Medium bodied with a bit of a watery feel.

This is one of the more interesting and unique Ontario offerings I've had to date. With that being said, it's not an exceptional one. I prefer their Kolsch over this. I'd still say this is worth a try.

Photo of tbeckett
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled November 30 so nice and fresh.

A - Pours a murky looking deepy ruby red colour. The head came out as a fizzy light brown but fizzled away really fast. Good carbonation coming up. The colour sure looks like a bog. No retention obviously and no lace. The murky looking element of this saves it from failing miserably.

S - A Sahti-like aroma with lot's of herbal notes, candied fruits, berries, and twigs.

T - Much the same with more berry notes, dark fruits, twigs, candied fruits, herbal notes. Alot like Sahti actually. Interesting.

M - Nice fizzy carbonation with a light to medium body and a sweet finish.

O/D - Interesting. Not overly pleasant though. A small sample would have done. The Sahti similarity is cool and the novelty of it scores it points, but more malt backbone would have dones this good with caramel or bready notes.

Photo of bryehn
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 600 mL bottle delivered straight from the brewery by their BYBO service. Bottled a week ago (Nov. 30). Sampling in a 24 oz pilsener glass.

Appearance certainly lives up to its name. Pours a murky, sludgy rust red and copper brown mixture. The off white head burns off almost immediately, leaving a scant thread ring and almost no lace.

Very smooth and appealing aroma anchored by earthy grains, grasses and malts. Sweet flowers, raisin, spices and a bit of an overripe pear note.

Tastes of honey sweetened flowers with a syrupy malt backing. A solid bitterness takes over, then grassy and flowery tones come through in the finish.

Medium-bodied with a very low carbonation. Both syrupy and a bit yeasty on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter, with a floral taste and a sort of medicinal quality.

Reminds me of their Dunkel Buck a bit. A very nice wild ale that, for me, ranks as the brewery's best seasonal. Easygoing, but satisfying.

Photo of kelvarnsen
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of StephenRich
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

There are many different types of brewers and beer lovers out there. Some people are looking for the cleanest and smoothest beer they can create, other strive for the wildest and most extreme beer imaginable. Some target the style specifically and try to hit the nail on the head, and more still are inventing new styles every day. There is another group of enthusiasts who love the history and tradition of beer; it is both lucky and unlucky for them that people have been been brewing beers for thousands of years in all sorts of conditions with a massive range of ingredients and techniques. Unlucky then because it is hard to find many traditional styles of beer that have gone by the wayside, but lucky because it opens the doors for unique and exciting experimental recreation. Enter the Beau's Bog Water Gruit Ale.

In modern beer hops are what is used primarily (and almost exclusively) to add bitterness to beer to balance the sweetness of malted barley. This was not always the case though, and in the long history of beer hops are a relatively young ingredient first being introduced to society somewhere in the 1400s. Before then brewers would use an herbal mixture to bitter and flavor the beer called gruit. Today, there are many avid home brewers and a few enthusiastic breweries who still produce beers in this manner, known as gruit beers, or gruit ales. Beau's Bog Water is exactly that, a Gruit Ale brewed with Belgian influenced malts, and an herb used extensively in brewing until the acceptance of hops called bog myrtle.

The Bog Water is 6.6% abv, and I have no clue how to even consider the Bittering Units it may have. Thanks to my good friends at Beau's I have had this 1.8L jug of Bog Water in my fridge just waiting for me and some friends to enjoy it. The Bog Water is a seasonal brew and is only available on tap at select pubs, and from the Brewery store in Vankleek Hill. I opened the Bog Water up cool around 10C (50F) and emptied the jug into several snifter glasses. The pour was very smooth and gentle only building froth towards the end of the fall. It did eventually create a very striking beer that glowed deeply; totally opaque and hiding somewhere between brown and purple the Bog Water showed me murky mahogany, dark amber browns and only faint bits of red into the light. The dense and very creamy head was impressive at first, but very quickly faded to a mere film on the beer.

The nose was unusual at first, but I sat there and tried to dissect it. The malt is smooth and mellow with a soft strength that comes through with some presence, but not power. It is faintly fruity and shows hints of roast and cocoa, but is clean and thin like a pilsner. The herbal remedy used in the seasoning of this beer is certainly pronounced adding a tea-like sweetness and a wild melange of spices and herbs. Its quite earthy and shows a slight bitterness - it definitely smells like bog myrtle... Whatever that is.

The first sip was similar to my first smell; confusing. Again, I tried to break the beer down piece by piece so that I could make more sense of it. The malt is very nice actually showing me easy and simple caramel, fruit and toffee flavors. Its got that Belgian Dubbel kind of roundness to it with a significantly lighter mouthfeel and body. Beau's states that the beer was brewed with Munich, Caramunich, Carafa and Pilsner malt - I expect Pils was the greatest proponent here contributing to its light body, but Munich malts to add a reasonable depth of flavor, and the Carafa bring hints of roast and wood across the top of my mouth.

All this though is pretty idle when compared to the unique spicing that the Bog creates. Remember, no hops here, so all the herbal, rustic, easrthy, mulled spice and wild flavors that you absorb from this beer are derived from the gruit. It does add well enough bitterness to balance off the beer, but adds no freshness or cleaning factor the way hops tend to. The beer is left with a bit of a flat finish in my mouth, but is interestingly satisfying.

As it probably sounds, I was, and am having a very hard time pinning down if I enjoyed this beer or not. Really though, I did - it has challenged me more than many beers have recently, and provided me with a new beer experience - something I am always looking for in beer. Thus, this is a welcomed seasonal brew from Beaus, and makes me very excited for their just unveiled Bog Father - and 8% version of the Bog Water.

Pics at: http://definitionale.com/2011/01/24/tasting-the-beaus-bog-water-gruit-ale/

Photo of kwjd
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at C'est What. Pours a murky orange colour with hints of brown/amber. Head starts out thick, but dissipates to small ring on the top. Some lacing down the glass. Smells of berries and spices, can't quite put my finger on exactly what I'm smelling. Very sweet flavour, but still some tartness. Smooth mouthfeel. Quite a different beer, but nice.

Photo of pootz
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Mondial:

Puts a turbid rusty-brown ale in the glass, small 1finger tan cap laces modestly.. Lightly carbonated.

Pungent aroma: musty-toffee-citrusy-floral, dried fruit-herbs, spices, smoked almonds...wonderful mélange of aromas. Like a herbal brown ale.

Flavor profile is almost replica of the aroma but more intense: toasty-nutty-toffee malts provide a base to balance off lemony-herbal bittering and a wonderful complexity of musty-spicy-malty-fruity-nutty flavors....long wet finish.

This has a wonderfully quirky complexity that is sure to be misunderstood by unseasoned palates but for those who can appreciate the melding of a number of uncommon complimentary flavors, this is a brew you can relish and not be shy about having a couple.

Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at BeerBistro.

This beer appears a hazy reddish brown colour, with no head, and no lace. It smells herbal, floral, and organic, like the center of a sunflower, and a bit medicinal. The taste is floral, vegetal, and weedy, with some mild sour cherry and earthy nuttiness. The carbonation is quite low, the body lighter, but not light, and a bit prickly, and it finishes dry, earthy, and um, boggy, but yet fairly clean overall.

Weird olden-times brews like this are neat to try, and I would probably drink more of this if hops were to suddenly vanish, but in the meantime, one is enough for my new-fangled palate.

Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Volo.

Pours a relatively clear dark reddish brown, slight bit of muddiness, thin off white head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring around the glass, a few spots stick around.

Smell is neat, sweet, spicy, old school cola/medicinal aroma, licorice, caramel, sugary, very earthy, root beer, pepper, quite medicinal, pretty cool.

Taste is neat as well, similar to aroma, sweet at first, brown sugar and caramel, light maltiness, peppery spice and cola, licorice and a touch of vanilla, earthy, medicinal, light bitterness but still on the sweet end.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation. I dug this one, good stab at the style.

Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd classify this as a "Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale", and a very good one at that!

A: Reddish-brown with a tan head, light retention, some lacing.

S: Wildberries with a unique mossy/wet-land aroma. Pleasant bready maltyness.

T: Bread, wild berries, an indistinguishable herbalness, dark fruit & hints of fruity esters, nut & spice. Alcohol is well-hidden & the sweetness is really well-balanced.

M: Moderate body is very smooth, with a dry finish.

D: Very drinkable for it's weight (and lack of hops!).

Photo of Sammy
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

myrtle is lemony and adds a citrus tang to tea. As a hop replacement, this is odd and different and queer. Dark brown with off-white soapy head, and lacey. Horse smell in there, vegetable aroma and in taste. Medium mouthfeel and aggressive carbonation.

Bog Water from Beau's All Natural Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.